The defending champion Chiefs took down the Texans on Thursday night to kick off the 2020 NFL season. While viewership was reportedly down for that game, there are still plenty of people excited to have football back. With limited positive COVID tests in the league, we might actually be able to plow through a full season. Only time will tell, but for die-hard sports fans, this creates a slight sense of normalcy to what has been a very bizarre year. To add to that normalcy, many are focusing on Fantasy Football and checking in on a full Sunday and Monday football schedule. Specifically, let’s focus on my Week 1 NFL Best Bets. Let’s also pepper in some suds, too.
The following games are my Week 1 NFL Best Bets against the spread, with all lines pulled from Bovada on Saturday September 12. Oh, and if you’ve seen these posts in the past, you know I tend to intertwine pop culture or other subject matter into my weekly picks.
This week, I’m sticking with my craft beer cravings and desires. Specifically, here is a Week 1 NFL Best Bets custom four pack, pairing a popular local beer with each game. When I say local, I mean specifically to the winning city that I select. In some cases, I haven’t tried these beers, but they fit the mold. Certainly, with the free pub, I wouldn’t complain if any of the breweries wanted to ship some my way!
Let’s get on with the picks, shall we?
Week 1 NFL Best Bets: KP’s Four Pack of Picks Against the Spread
PITTSBURGH STEELERS at New York Giants (+6.0)
Yes, the Giants added talent to an iffy offensive line and Saquon Barkley is healthy to start the season. We know what that can add up to. With that said, I’m pretty high on the Steelers this season, as you may have seen in my 2020 NFL Season Predictions. Despite a boatload of injuries last year, the Steelers managed to reach the .500 mark. Ben Roethlisberger and the team’s top receivers are all healthy. Couple that with a Pittsburgh defense that led the league in sacks last year and the Joe Judge era in New York could be off to a rough start. Steelers cover.
Pair it with: Dancing Gnome – Infinite Highway – because that’s how far Pittsburgh will travel if Big Ben and the offense can stay healthy.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at Jacksonville Jaguars (+8.5)
Would you believe the Colts have lost 6 of 9 to the Jags? That surprised me a bit, but then again, this division is always a dogfight. Since, the Jags have lost key pieces in the secondary, on the defensive front and in the backfield. There are a number of question marks in the run game, which could leave too much in Gardner Minshew’s hands. More importantly, I like Philip Rivers to bounce back this season. He has a fresh start and a strong offensive line to throw behind. T.Y. Hilton is healthy and there are a handful of younger receivers to throw to, as well. There is RB depth and added star power on the D-line. This Indy team has the talent to make a deep run and I think they’ll start the season off right. Colts cover.
Pair it with: Central State – Sports Television – I’ve never had this New England IPA, but I’m talking football, this is an Indy brewery and the beer is called “Sports Television”. So, it fits – and gets a very solid grade on Untappd, too. Man, I’m getting thirsty.
ARIZONA CARDINALS at San Francisco 49ers (-7.0)
Crowd noise will not be a deciding factor considering the stadium situations. The Niners love to focus on the run, but I can see Arizona mixing in a lot of running, too. I more so want to see how Kyler Murray performs now that he has a full year under his belt. More importantly, Murray now has DeAndre Hopkins to throw to. Let’s not forget Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, too. The Niners have a loaded defense, but it’ll be difficult to shut down all the talent the Cards have. With the limitations the preseason has had, I expect this game to be close – and at times sloppy. Give me the Cardinals and the points.
Pair it with: Wren House Brewing Company – Spellbinder – Another New England IPA that I have not tried (4.07 on Untappd), but the brewery name made me think of the Cards and the beer name made me think of the spellbinding talent that Arizona has on offense.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
I was a bit torn on which game to pick as my fourth, but Green Bay makes the most sense here. Minnesota will not have fans for its first two home games and that takes a big advantage away from the Vikings. People seem to forget that the Packers finished 13-3 last season. That includes a sweep of the Vikings. We instead keep focusing on the fact that Green Bay failed to add WR help for Aaron Rodgers in the draft. Despite that, the young receivers have had another year to grow in the system. This Packers team also has balance. It can run and pass. The defense was much improved in 2019. In the end, I keep coming back to Minnesota’s home field “disadvantage”. Packers make it three in a row, win outright.
Pair it with: Titletown Brewing Company – Green 19 – I mean, c’mon… how cool of a name is this? I have heard of this beer and the next time I visit Wisconsin, I want to try it. Hey, Titletown, if you guys can ship this stuff, send some my way! If you don’t get the name, well, check out this video – and then you will. Hint: it’s all in the cadence. Now, do they also brew a beer called “Blue 58”, too?
Cheers to you! Enjoy the opening weekend. Let me know your Week 1 NFL Best Bets and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!